ABBA, Father.

Almighty

Benefactor

Bestowing

Absolution.

 

Forgiving

ABBA.

Trusted

Heart Reader.

Everlasting

Refuge.

ABBA is Love personified: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

ABBA adopts each of us as His own son or daughter: Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6)

 ABBA gives us understanding and comfort: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort . . .     (2 Corinthians 1:3)  

ABBA provides strength and support: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6 )

ABBA sends the Holy Spirit to watch over us, His children: 15 “If you love Me, keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.  (John 14:15-17)

ABBA has love enough for everyone: You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You. (Psalm 86:5)

ABBA is the Father we share, as His adopted sons and daughters. To Him, we owe our obedience, our devotion, our love. He first loved by giving us this mortal life. He loved us more by offering eternal life through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

Every day is Father’s Day to honor our Eternal Father: ABBA.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/17/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

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LISTEN–AND HEAR THE LORD.

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” 1

 Do we have daily conversations with God where we make sure we are heard—but forget to listen? Are we really even conversing at all in this situation–or are we just presenting a one-sided monologue to the Lord, consisting of our personal list of requests, wants, and needs?

“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” 2

To engage in true conversation with our God, we must also be silent and listen to what He has to say to us. There is much that can be heard in silence. Noise drowns out the Word, which the Lord wants to impart to us. Our own words can interfere with and block out His part of the conversation. Maybe WE TALK TOO MUCH–without letting Him speak.

Listening involves a focused mindset. In our society today, such a mindset is difficult to develop and sustain: short quotes on Facebook, short blurbs in ads, condensed recaps of news, texts and tweets, instant messaging. We move from one item to another quickly on Google. In fact, in a recent Microsoft study reported in Time, the results indicate that our focus of attention has declined to a mere eight seconds. The title of this May14, 2015 article by Kevin McSpadler is “You now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.” 3

So how can we listen and be silent before God to hear all He has to say when our attention span is so lacking? It is possible! Each one of us can remain absorbed, engrossed, riveted and totally engaged for a longer duration of time in something we love to do—fishing, reading, cooking, sewing, a sport, exercise, camping, etc. We can develop and maintain this intentional focus when the “want to” is there.

“Hearing” God and “listening” to His Word are referenced many times in scripture:

Psalm 85:8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2  “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

If we are to truly live “by every Word” coming from God, then we must love this conversation with God more than our desire for anything else—and we must learn to listen and be silent.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 

 

1William Hazlitt

2 Alfred Brendel

3 time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/10/18)  Meditations on God’s Word  teacherforjesus.com

Finding Wisdom on the Narrow Road

                “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,                                                    it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” ― Mark Twain 1

The Lord had a select few at His side during His last years on this earth. They were the ones who were taught the wisdom that comes from God. They walked with Wisdom, ate with Wisdom, and sat at the feet of Wisdom. From Wisdom, they gained– and later preached –wisdom.

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (I Corinthians 1:30)

Jesus was not on the side of the majority. He reached out to the minority– the leper who wanted to be healed, the Samaritan woman at the well, the blind man who wished to see, the sinners He ate with, the tax collector whose home He chose to visit.  He did not choose to be with the Pharisees who desired celebrity from others through their public prayers. His sentence and crucifixion did not come from those who entered the narrow gate, seeking Him and His wisdom– but from those who believed in and purported their own “wisdom” as they boldly walked through the wide gate that led to the broad road where many would see them, hear them, and acknowledge them. Jesus acknowledged them by condemning their hypocrisy: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13)

True wisdom can only come from God. That wisdom is identified through the Word:

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.              (James 3:17)

These were not the traits of the Pharisees who chose their own version of self-wisdom instead of seeking the truth from God.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 
(Proverbs 4:6-7)

What gate do we enter every day in our choices? What road are we on as we follow our life path? Are we in the crowds of many? Is wisdom drowned out by the noise of confusion from the voices of the majority?

Leaving that road and entering the narrow path, we can commune with God and hear His voice: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

 We need to ask; we need to seek; we need to pray. Wisdom is what the world needs, and we are the select few who must share Him through the example of our lives.

 1Twain, Mark. twainquotes.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/03/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Ultimate Sacrifice: Soldiers for the Cause of Christ–Against the Father of Lies

soldier spiritual warfare

SACRIFICE

S:  Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it’s been done. (John Keegan)

A:  A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. (Joseph Campbell)

C: Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often affected. (Billy Graham)

R: Remember fallen heroes. Remember fallen angels. “My father used to call all soldiers angel warriors… Because usually they get boys to fight wars.” (Lt. Carroll, pg. 44, Fallen Angels)

I: I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. (Nathan Hale)

F: For love of country, they accepted death. (James A. Garfield)

I: I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism. (Bob Riley)

C: Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. (Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I hero)

E: Each man is a hero or an oracle to somebody.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

****************************************************************************

Going to War as a Christian

(Deuteronomy 20:1-4) 1 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Some of us may actually engage the enemy in another country, while others watch as sons and daughters depart to a foreign place in preparation for battle. Although most of us will not physically go to a war front in another land to face an enemy, there are many battlefields we confront as Christians. The manner of battle is different, being more spiritual than physical, although we may have physical confrontations with those who do not support or defend the Word of God. The Lord may require sacrifices of us in these battles against the Father of Lies, including the ultimate one–the giving of our own lives–as Christ did before us. God’s promise is that we are not alone. He is with us and goes before us. The victory is His.

Each quote cited applies to our personal Christian duty and responsibility. We must each have the commitment, courage, love, and devotion of a dutiful soldier to further the cause of Christ in a world that is moving away from Him, either through passive/aggressive unbelief or confrontational verbal and/or physical acts. We are soldiers for Christ, and we have a solemn duty to fulfill. Our courage comes from God’s promise to us.

We know Who wins.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/27/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

FACING OUR FEARS THROUGH GOD

With the concerns, disasters, and tragedies of each day constantly before us in the media and social media, FEAR can become a crippling concern that takes away our JOY.

FEAR happens when we FORGET THE PROMISES of our God and Savior.

To counter our fears, we must REMEMBER HIS PROMISES. Each time we feel a concern that results in anxiety, depression, or overwhelming stress from a fear that we can’t seem to handle, we can only give it to God and break down each aspect of FEAR through Him.

F:      Foundation Stone

E:      Eternal Rock

A:      Abba Father

R:      Risen Savior

S:      Sovereign Lord

We cannot calm our FEARS without God.

Foundation Stone:

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” (Isaiah 28:16)

Eternal Rock:

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)

Abba Father:

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. (Romans 8:14-17)

Risen Savior:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:3-5)

Sovereign Lord:

When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “You made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.”  (Acts 4:24)

The One Sovereign Lord who made everything–Who is the Foundation, the Eternal Rock, and the Risen Savior—is, also, our Father. He welcomes us in His arms when we come before Him, needing and asking for His help, His comfort, His security, and His strength. FEAR is not in Him. PEACE is transmitted from Him to us as we seek His help and rely on His promises to, once again, find our JOY through Him. Let us go to Him always.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/20/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Mary and her Son: Keeping These Things and Pondering Them in our Hearts

Mary and Jesus and John

 26 When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

On the cross, while enduring the most extreme agony of suffering for our sins and abandonment by His Father, Jesus looked down and saw His mother. He knew she would need to be cared for, and John, His trusted disciple “whom he loved” was near. Jesus made it clear in the wording He used that Mary was to view John as her son and John was to be that son to Mary.  John accepted this great responsibility and took Mary home with him.

In providing for His mother, Our Lord demonstrated His love for this woman who bore Him. Mary was told by the angel that she, a virgin, would bear a child who would be “the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)  She didn’t understand but humbly accepted this responsibility by verbally stating: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).   When the shepherds came to Bethlehem to find The Child, Christ the Lord, in the manger, Luke recorded Mary’s unspoken thoughts and feelings about this birth: “… His mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:17-19) When Jesus was twelve and told his parents, who were looking for him, that he was about His Father’s business in the temple, they did not understand. Luke, once again, recorded her unspoken thoughts and feelings: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:48-51). 

We can only imagine what Mary really pondered all those years. “Mary, did you know?” are the lyrics written by Mark Lowry to a well-known Christmas song.¹ Mary had been “pondering” all these years, and she seemed to know that Jesus had the power to perform a miracle at Cana and provide more wine for the wedding occasion. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’  5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you’ (John 2:1-5). And He, then, turned water into wine, performing His first recorded miracle. “This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). His mother had already believed in Him.

Mary was with Jesus, her son, throughout his life, and she was at the foot of the cross when He was sacrificing Himself for all mankind. She was a mother who loved her son and gave Him up for us.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Her words could be heard, not only at the beginning, but also at the end of her son’s life on this earth.

Mother has the word “other” in it. A mother has a special bond with her child from conception until she dies. She looks outside herself to her child and gives to that child first above her own self. The “M” in a loving mother is never the completed word “me” for it defers, instead, to the full word “other.” Her “other” is the child she bears, the child who grows inside her, the child who continues to grow outside her body but never outside her heart.  Mary was this mother.

To those of us who are mothers or future mothers, let us strive to be the woman and mother Mary was: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’ ” (Luke 1:28).

Let us all be as caring toward our parents as Jesus was to His mother. In spite of all that He was going through on the cross, He remembered her and provided for her.

 Our mother is our deliverer into this life. Jesus is our Deliverer through this life.

 May we keep all these things and ponder them in our hearts.

¹https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Lowry

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/13/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Day-by-Day Strength from God

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

*******************************************

**The young mother tries desperately to find a moment to herself behind the bedroom door—as her young toddler knocks incessantly and the baby cries loudly and louder out to her. Never a moment. Door opening.

**An elderly man, who just lost his wife, strives to raise himself from his chair to get to the kitchen and make a meal—but falls back, too short of breath. Not tonight.

**A father of five rushes to his second job, working too late to see his children before they are sound asleep and leaving too early in the morning before they awaken. Aging faster than his 35 years. Missing the sounds and moments with his children.

**A teen girl, the subject of whispers and laughter, walks to her locker at school, head down. Reaching the locker door, she opens it to stare at the girl in the mirror with tear-smudged makeup. The locker door slams against her back. Passing laughter. Tears in the mirror.

**The college student struggles, trying to keep up with grades, athletics for his scholarship, and the social life in the fraternity.  Once again, he thrusts a needle into his arm, the hype less each time. Wanting to be free. Needing more.

************************************

Waves crash against the shore;

We walk into the storm,

Assured of our own stamina;

Winds lash out pummeling us.

Pushing ahead through it all,

We are winning—until a pebble

Becomes lodged in our shoe.

Something so small, yet powerful,

Constant, nagging pain as we move.

Day after day struggle in our life walk,

Dealing with the pebble, always there,

More difficult than storms that subside.

Where is the relief from each day?

“God is our refuge and strength.”

*************************************

It is the day-after-day struggles in our lives that can be the most difficult to deal with on a regular basis. The pebble in our shoe seems to grow into a rock by day’s end.

But God is always there, “an ever-present help in trouble.” We need Him as we go through the larger storms that assail. But it is in the everyday moments of difficulty where we come to truly know Him and learn that we need to depend on Him always.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:29-31)

       (Sharon G. Tate blog 05/06/2018) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

By No Other Name–I AM

Psalms_8-9 thy name

 

13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

God declares His name in the present tense, for He has always been, is now, and shall forever be. Stating “I AM WHO I AM” with precise clarity, God describes His character which speaks for itself. It is “WHO I AM.

A name can speak authority, manifest power, declare celebrity, carry legacy. Each name represents life and existence, along with the capability of what we can become. We are named at birth, but the significance of our given name is what we do with our lives. This
becomes our character and our legacy, recognized by–and represented through– our name.

In a Beatles’ song, Eleanor Rigby is “buried along with her name.” ¹ There is no legacy, no lasting measure of a difference made by living.

There is a name, however, that we can chose, beyond our birth name, which gives us eternal life and the opportunity to make a lasting difference in this temporal life. Bearing the name “Christian” means speaking with the authority of the Word, manifesting the power found in Christ, shining with the celebrity of His name (that has not faded with
time), and carrying the weight of His legacy. The character that accompanies this name “Christian” must be worthy. Who we are should clearly show the character of Christ.

The significance of being called “Christian” is clearly shown upon examination of this word. The suffix “ian” or “an” in the word “Christian” means the following: “belonging to or relating to; typical of or resembling; adhering to or following; a person who specializes or is expert in.”² Bearing the name “Christian,” we belong and relate to, resemble, adhere to and follow Christ. We should be specialists and experts in what it means to be a Christian.

By no other name can we enter eternity with Christ but “Christian.” Our character must reveal Christ through our actions and our words to bear this name. It is the name that will not be left on a tombstone to fade and disappear with time. It is a name that will endure and be acknowledged by Christ as we enter the presence of I AM forever.

¹ “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles/1966 release/Album Revolver                                                    ² Suffix “ian” or “an” meaning from dictionary.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/28/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

NEW LIFE UNDER GOD’S LIGHT

 

 

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

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The old self is the familiar self. It is hard to leave the comfort of familiarity and start anew. Like the plant trying to break through the hardened ground to reach the light and grow, we struggle. The darkness underground in the shadows envelops us, seemingly hiding what we don’t want the Light to see associated with our old self.

We know His Light will change us. It will reveal what we cannot hide. We are unable to remain the same under the influence of Light. The plant knows this about light. Photosynthesis is innate to its existence and    sustenance. God imbued the plant with this “understanding.” It is changed by light, as we are when we yield to its life-giving effects.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the  resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.   (I Peter 1:3-5)

The old self, that we have come to know so well, cannot grow and change. It is an Old Life Dying every moment. The old must die to  release the reborn me and you in a New Engaging Walk with the Light.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Death, in our culture, is usually associated with feelings of fear, anxiety, dread, and avoidance. Yet, through the Light of Christ, death to our old self is the means through which we can each grow to prepare for our new life eternal. From death is the hope to rise anew, to break through the hard ground out of the darkness, to reach upward and bend, like the plant, toward the saving Light.

 When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Let us each follow His Light.

He is the path to salvation,

Our Guide home through the darkness.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/22/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord is Peace

The Lord gives strength to His people;
the Lord blesses His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

When reading the headlines in the newspaper or hearing the day’s events as presented by the nightly news anchor, we might question,

“WHERE IS THE PEACE, LORD?”

Jesus clearly answers us: 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

The world outside may be a raging storm, our inner world may be a tempest–but He gives us peace from it all, if we are willing to let Him into our hearts. The Lord gives us this promise when winds blow,  lightning strikes, hail falls, floods rise, inner thoughts assail in our moments of uncertainty and fear: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)  Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” who gives us refuge from the storms of life (Isaiah 9:6).

10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor My covenant of peace be removed,”
says the
Lord, who has compassion on you.

(Isaiah 54:10)

The only way we are removed from this peace is by our own doing– when our faith is weak, when we fear a sinful society seems beyond   redemption, when our internal thoughts become ridden with doubt. Through all of this, we limit God, and His peace cannot reach us. The giving end from God is always powerful and strong; the faulty transmission comes at the point of reception– you and me.

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,  so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

PEACE! PEACE! BE STILL. ¹

 ¹ “Master, the Tempest is Raging” lyrics by Mary Ann Baker 1874

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/15/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word